Christian Life Coaching with Dr. David Cox
Friday, August 18, 2017

 

 

"17 Minutes of Hope"

 

 Yearly, over THREE MILLION  American youth seriously consider suicide, and of that number, over ONE MILLION go so far as to make an actual attempt. This equates to over 2,700 suicide gestures and attempts daily by the youth of our nation who range in age from 12-17.  That's almost 2 attempts each minute, and during any given week, 100 young people, or so, die through their own actions.  

Most of us are unaware of these facts, and never consider them, unless the issue of suicide or a suicide attempt somehow becomes personal to us.  By this time, it may just be too late.  A dear child, beloved younger brother or sister, or the neighborhood kid who always seemed to be having such a difficult time has found that he or she just can't deal with life anymore and has taken matters into his or her own hands.

The facts reveal that a silent epidemic of youth suicide is ravaging our nation and killing our best and brightest young people.  Suicide ranks as the THIRD leading cause of death for ages 15-24 and FOURTH for ages 10-14, and suicide is the SECOND leading cause of death of our college-aged youth.   In the past 40 years, youth suicide rates have ALMOST TRIPLED, and more teens die of suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza and chronic lung disease COMBINED.

Our youth are certainly not the only part of the population that is impacted by this issue.  Annually, over 30,000 U.S. lives are reported as being claimed through the self-destroying act of suicide, but due to the secrecy often shrouded around these who take their own lives, it is probable that the actual numbers are much higher.  It is known for certain that, daily, some 1500 attempt to end their lives; of these, approximately 80 will indeed result in a completed suicide.  For every three homicides in America, there are five suicides. Every 17 MINUTES, somewhere in America, someone chooses suicide.

   SUICIDE CAN BE PREVENTED

Although many depressed people are not suicidal, almost all suicidal people are depressed, and while some suicides occur without warning, most do not. It is important that you know that someone who has had a previous suicide attempt is twice as likely to kill themselves and that 75% of all people who commit suicide give some warning of their intentions to a friend or family member. 

The most effective way to prevent suicide among loved ones is to learn how to recognize the signs of someone at risk, take those signs seriously, and know how to respond to them. 

DEPRESSION AND SUICIDAL CRISES ARE RECOGNIZABLE AND TREATABLE 


RECOGNIZING DEPRESSION:
- change in appetite or weight
- change in sleep patterns
- a loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities; withdrawal
- fatigue or loss of energy
- diminished ability to think or concentrate; indecisiveness
- poor physical appearance; diminished hygiene
- mood swings, angry outbursts, unusual crying spells
- feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, excessive guilt sadness
- thoughts of death, suicide, wishes to be dead, talking about suicide

DANGER SIGNS:
- someone taking unnecessary risks or exhibiting self-destructive behavior
- making funeral arrangements or setting one's affairs in order
- giving away prized possessions
- cutting / self-mutilation (especially dangerous in teenagers)
- rope burns around the neck or bloodshot eyes (signs of someone engaging in the "Choking Game")
- use of drugs and/or alcohol
- family history of depression and/or suicide
- recent loss of a significant relationship, death of a loved one, perceived sense of failure
- desperation; an acute sense of abandonment
- statements such as "My family would be better off without me" or "Nobody would miss me if I was gone" or "You won't be seeing me around anymore."
- buying a gun
-  composing a suicide note

What is "The Choking Game?"

The "Choking Game" is also known as the"Pass Out Game," Dreaming," "Pass Out" and "Ghost." The concept has been around for awhile. The primary goal is to cause yourself or a friend to literally choke or lose breath and feel a consciousness altering experience or "high." Many young people think this a harmless game, but this "game" is DANGEROUS AND DEADLY! 

It is especially dangerous when people play this "game" alone because once they lose consciousness, there is no one there to rescue them and they can die from asphyxiation. The "Choking Game" is something that is well-known but is not talked about. Young people will be secretive about it and may even pretend they do not know what you are talking about if you ask. To many, this seems like a harmless way to get a rush. Many young people participate in this lethal game out of curiosity.

 

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

OF THE "CHOKING GAME"

- Reports of severe headaches

- Marks or bruises on the neck

- Bloodshot or red eyes

- Raspy voice

- Belts, bags, rope or ties found around the house in odd places

- Closed doors or an unusal need for privacy

Parents and adults should pay attention to websites that include the words "Passout" "Blackout" "Space Monkey" "Space Cowboy" "Knockout" "Gasp" and "Rising Sun." Also, check blogs and chat rooms where young people may be discussing the "Choking Game." Young people are fascinated by the fact that they can self-induce this kind of high without using drugs. They know that it's risky and dangerous --- that is part of the allure of the "game" --- but few know that it can be DEADLY!

 

 WHEN YOU FEAR

SOMEONE MAY TAKE THEIR LIFE

-ALL suicide threats must be taken seriously!!!

-Know what the warning signs are.

-Take the initiative to ask what is troubling them and be persistent even though they may be reluctant to talk about it. 

-Ask them!!!

"Are you thinking about suicide?"  

"Do you have a particular plan?" 

IT IS A MYTH THAT MENTIONING SUICIDE WILL GIVE THE PERSON THE IDEA! 

They are making a cry for help. Let them know you hear their cry.  They will be relieved to know that someone sees their pain and cares.

-Don't ever attempt to try and talk someone out of suicide. Rather, let them know that they are not alone and that their feelings are temporary.

-Don't add more guilt to them.

-Don't try to handle this alone. Take them with you to talk to a counselor, coach, parent, teacher or youth pastor. 

-Don't leave them alone!

TELL SOMEONE!

It is OK if they get mad at you, you are saving a life. Think of it as CPR!

 

HAVE YOU LOST SOMEONE

YOU KNOW & LOVE TO SUICIDE?

It is absolutely the worst club in the world. Your feelings of anger at the person who did this are very normal. You may be experiencing what is called "survivor's guilt." You may be wondering what you could have done to keep them from killing themself. No one can make someone choose to live. Ultimately, they are responsible for that choice. It might be a good idea for you to talk to someone about how you are feeling. If you have lost someone to suicide, you are at risk for depression and even suicide yourself.

You are grieving. Give yourself time to heal. This is most likely one of the worst times you will ever go through. You can make it. Shock is a common immediate reaction. You may feel numb or disoriented, and may have trouble concentrating. It would not be unusual for you to think that you are just having a very bad nightmare.

Most survivors of suicide struggle with "Why?" Survivors often feel unfairly stigmatized and that suicide is shameful and that others look at them differently now. You do not have to be a victim of what someone else has done, you can be a victor!

REMEMBER: 

"Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem!"

Dr. David Cox is a national speaker on the subject of suicide and is available to bring his "17 Minutes of Hope" seminar to your church, school, or community. You may book him for appearances by contacting us by e-mail or phone